Do different types of Training Shoes really affect your performance?
You wouldn’t take a Ferrari off road, same as you wouldn’t break any speed records in a Land Rover so why would you wear running shoes when lifting heavy weights?
With so many different types of shoes to choose from, it can be challenging to know which type is just right for your needs. Do you need running shoes, lifting shoes, cross training shoes or walking shoes just to mention a few.
Choosing a proper shoe can help to protect you against common injuries associated with your type of workout. Good shoes can lessen the impact of your step and cushion your foot from heavy landings. In addition, sport or exercise specific shoes can improve your performance.
A weightlifting shoe or flat soled shoe outperforms a running/training shoe when it comes to weightlifting in every possible way.
Lifting shoes are more stable than your typical running/training shoe or barefoot, not just underfoot, but around your foot. This ensures you have a strong and consistent base to land on which is important for performance and injury prevention in equal measure.
As they have a firm and flatter base they help you use all the force your body produces to help you lift weight. They have a raised heel, which allows you to squat into a deeper position through increased ankle range of motion. This will help you to improve your overall position too, as you’ll find yourself more upright.
Training shoes / Cross-trainers are your general, all-around gym and fitness shoe as they are designed to support and stabilise your feet, ankles and knees throughout rapidly shifting, dynamic movements, like those you’d likely be doing during a gym session. Including workouts ranging from body conditioning sessions to high-intensity interval or circuit training.
They have a minimal height difference between the heel and the toe of the shoe. This helps provide increased stability throughout varied activities. And a flexible mid-sole, which provides plenty of range of motion for high-paced activity and varied movements.
Running shoes are specifically designed for running, so if you run a lot, or for more than about 5 km at a time, running shoes are the better choice for you as they have extra cushioning underfoot.
Running-specific models have a few key features:
- Lots of cushioning underfoot to help prevent pain and discomfort with each foot strike.
- sizeable height difference between the heel and the toe, which helps absorb your foot’s impact when hitting the ground.
If you run a lot, or for more than about 5 km at a time, you might find that running shoes are the better choice for you as they have extra cushioning underfoot.
Walking Shoes v Running Shoes
Running shoes are typically more lightweight, which makes it easier to make quick movements. Walking shoes, however, are usually heavier, which helps you maintain stability throughout your walk. In other words, running shoes support faster movements while walking shoes support a slower, consistent, and steady pace.
So in summary, Yes choosing the correct shoes for the type of activity you are performing not only helps increase your performance but also help protect you from injury so you can keep consistent, keep training comfortably and reach your goals sooner.
So next time you are due for a new pair of trainers give some thought as to the type of activities you will be performing, whether it be running, weight lifting, walking or cardio training at the gym. It could give you the excuse to get more than one pair of shoes and in different colours too 🙂
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